Dalton State Hosts Author Terry Kay At Annual Book Festival

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book lovers are invited to hear Georgia author Terry Kay speak on his “one important book,” The Book of Marie, Wednesday, April 17, at Dalton State’s fourth annual Book Festival.

“We are so proud to welcome Terry Kay to our book festival," said Lydia Knight, library director.  "It is a joy to have someone who is a shining example of Southern literary excellence and a true ‘homegrown’ author from Georgia."

The Book Festival is hosted by Dalton State’s Roberts Library with support from the Student Activities Committee and Dalton State Foundation and is held during National Library Week to promote literacy and a lifelong love of reading.

"I believe I’ve written one important book –The Book of Marie—because it deals with a view of the civil rights movement seldom acknowledged: how young white southerners were affected by the social changes of the time,” Mr. Kay said.

The novel, published in 2007, sensitively explores the lives of young Georgians from the fictional town of Overton from the time of their high school prom in 1955 to their 50th class reunion in 2005 and the impact of time and social change on their attitudes and long held truths.  

Mr. Kay has particular interest in the ways in which young white southerners were affected by the Civil Rights Movement. “To me, that grand song ‘We Shall Overcome’ related to young whites–and I was one of them–much as it did to the black community,” Mr. Kay said. “We had to overcome a history of perceived segregationist traditions and that often meant conflict with friends, family, and community.” 

Fifteen copies of The Book of Marie have been donated to the Roberts Library and are available for check out by campus and community members who wish to read the book before Mr. Kay’s appearance at the Book Festival. 

“I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the book and I believe it is a worthy contribution to current day dialogue regarding civility, tolerance, and diversity,” Ms. Knight said. Community members wishing to check books out of Roberts Library need to provide a valid driver’s license and reside in one of the 10 counties in the Dalton State service area, she said.

Mr. Kay was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2006 and received the Georgia Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He is probably best known for his 1990 signature novel, To Dance With the White Dog, considered to be a Southern literary classic and the work which established him as one of the region’s foremost writers. The novel, presented as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie in 1993, tells the story of an octogenarian and a mysterious white dog that comes to live with him following the death of his wife of 57 years. The love story was inspired by Mr. Kay’s own parents.

He has authored numerous other books, stories, and essays.  He has written for television, has served as a theatre critic, and hosted “The Southern Voice,” a PBS series on Southern literature.  In addition, he has taught as a visiting lecturer at Emory University and twice directed Emory’s summer creative writing program.  

Mr. Kay has been married for 52 years and has four children, 10 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He and his wife live in Athens.

Mr. Kay will speak on writing The Book of Marie in two programs, both open to the public, on April 17. Programs will be held in room 105 on the lower level of The James E Brown Center beginning at 12:30 and 6:30 p.m.

The Dalton State Book Festival “Homegrown” has celebrated the literary works of regional authors the past four years, Ms. Knight said, noting that the Festival is held each year during National Library Week. 

The program is free and open to the public; for more information, contact Roberts Library at 706.272-4575. 


School Reformist Dr. Tiffany Anderson To Speak In Chattanooga On Education Reform

Dr. Tiffany Anderson will present, Putting Schools at the Center of a Community, at the next Chattanooga 2.0 Talk on June 2 from 5:30-7 p.m. at Dalewood Middle School, located at 1300 Shallowford Road in Chattanooga. This event is free and open to the public.  Dr. Anderson’s model of bringing community services and connections into schools has been featured on NPR, The ... (click for more)

Commissioner McQueen Reconvenes Special Task Force On Student Testing And Assessment

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced Wednesday the reconvening of the special Tennessee Task Force on Student Testing and Assessment to further study and identify best practices in testing at the school, district, and state level. Comm. McQueen formed the first iteration of this assessment task force shortly after taking office in 2015 as a result of feedback from ... (click for more)

Woman, 26, Who Was Set To Testify In Murder Trial, Is Shot And Killed On Elder Street

A 26-year-old woman who was set to testify in an upcoming murder trial was shot multiple times and killed on Wednesday morning. Chattanooga Police responded to the 2100 block of Elder Street on a report of a dead person on the side of the road near Old Ringgold Road and Westside Drive. Police located Bianca Horton.  P olice established a crime scene.  Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Attorney For Bobby Stone Hits Berke, Fletcher For Commenting On Pending Case

The attorney for Bobby Stone on Wednesday said it was "fundamentally wrong" for Mayor Andy Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher to comment on the case in which Mr. Stone is charged with domestic assault against his wife, Berke advisor Lacie Stone. Attorney Lee Davis said the comments were unfair and "a disservice to the court." Mayor Berke denied any inappropriate contact ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Christian Schools Bully, Too

Earlier this week, after I shared a story about bullying written by a very brave mother, it opened a floodgate of emails from parents and students who have been forced to endure such madness in our elementary, junior and senior high schools. Discipline is the No. 1 problem in our schools. Because of it, or because of a lack of it, no wonder our children cannot achieve all that ... (click for more)